Thursday, January 03, 2019

The Long March

The death of a high school classmate has led to some ruminations from fellow members of The Class of 1975. What I have seen over the years is that there is a certain pattern in the way people exit this world, as explicated in class notes and newspaper obituaries.

First to leave are the kids so careless or reckless they don't make it out of high school, or who die soon thereafter. It is amazing how many high school yearbooks will have a dedication to the boy who died his sophomore year. It's almost a trope.

Then there's a decade or two gap and we see people pass away who had chronic or congenital health problems. The strain of just living in these cases takes it toll. My best friend from college, a person who had a tremendous influence in my life and is the reason I live in Texas today, was born with a neurological disorder and died at 49.

Now that we're past the big 6-0 we will finally see people start to die from simple old age. This is the most chilling sequence because it will not end until everyone in the class has passed away.

I celebrate my 62nd birthday on Sunday, so I am smack dab there. You just have to accept aging with some fatalism and perhaps a sense of humor.

As a "friend" of mine once commented, "If the good die young, you're practically immortal!"

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